~*Windflower By Gabrielle Roy*~ This Will Explain One Of The Themes In This Novel: Imprisonment Of Possessions. It Will Relate To The Whole Story And Several Other Sources To Express My Opinion.

1651 words - 7 pages

"You never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy" Erick Hoffer. Through out history, society has supported science to look forward for inventions to improve conformity in life; this fact has changed humanity's priorities and therefore, the world itself. In other words, our science development has always had the destination for easier and longer life; however, we do not notice how this is all about materialism and how it devalues our sense for life. In Windflower by Gabrielle Roy, the Inuit culture is expressed as peaceful and free, but in contrast the white way of living is considered as hostile and imprisoning and has a negative impact on Elsa Kumachuk's life and her relationships. Materialism has altered her life and in this case, because of her innocence and ignorance, in an unfortunate way, leaving others with the consequences of her mistakes.To begin, Elsa had lived her entire life with her culture, the Inuit or Eskimo. However, her family had been fairly influenced by the white culture and as an example, Elsa's attendance to school and Winnie's habit for smoking. When Jimmy is born, Elsa learns about the facilities the white culture offered when raising a child. She's attracted to these material necessities which enslaves her and changes her judgement about her preferences in life. Even though, she tries to find a middle point between her culture and the white culture she's constantly being possessed by materialism and this eventually shaped her as she matured with the time. "Materialism refers to the importance people attach to worldly possessions... If worldly possessions are viewed as a part of the self, it follows that an unintentional loss of possessions should be regarded as a loss of the self". ("Study Finds Craving Material Things". 7/2/2001.) This quote can be referred to the way Elsa, without understanding the influence material possessions had on her, was carried by its attraction and an attachment to these. "She was dumbfounded to find every cent gone before she noticed" (Windflower 29). Elsa has the desire for many luxuries and in order to get these she had to work as a slave and then find some comfort or reward in the results. This situation deteriorates Elsa's appearance and she looks skinny, worn out and very tired. She hardly has time for her son or herself but she supposes that Jimmy is content having all those expensive toys and clothes. She was very young, naive and because of the appearance of Madame Beaulieu and her family she wanted to follow their way of living. "Her life was being used up, moreover, attempting to keep up with progress, a difficult master progress: did anyone know what it wanted and where it was leading people?" (Windflower 35). Elsa felt these changes were an improvement in her life and were leading to progress; however, she did not know what progress meant to her. She wanted to resemble the wealthy ness and the self-confidence that white people had but she started to turn into the...

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